“If nothing changes, nothing changes”
– 12-Step Recovery Slogan
Like most human beings, I have my own challenges, limitations, problems as well as goals, aspirations and dreams. I’ve hired three life coaches to date – all are excellent, highly trained and all three happen to be German for some reason. They are also great people who I respect.
Life Coaching vs Therapy
Fundamentally, life coaching is focused on personal development and growth, and achieving life objectives. Therapy, however, is focused on treating psychological dysfunction and mental health disorders in clinical settings. Of course, the approach of each may vary according to the care and skill of the practitioner.
Working with a therapist helped massively, but I still wasn’t living the life that I wanted. I currently attend psychotherapy regularly to address heavy traumas, and though I love it, I find that therapy isn’t necessarily the best tool for every job when it comes to personal development.
I want to not only heal my wounds – but I want to thrive and grow beyond what has been restored.
After working with a life coach, here are five ways my life transformed:
1. My emotional intelligence improved
My second coach introduced me to the Enneagram which shone a massive spotlight on my character. This was pretty powerful for me. I discovered so much about myself including:
- Blindspots (I could be very pessimistic and look for the negatives and wallow in self-pity)
- Strengths (I am very creative, entrepreneurial, compassionate, sensitive, caring, honest, open)
- Triggers (I found out that envy and rejection are big triggers for me!)
I now am much more aware of my emotions, and the stories I create behind them. If I am emotionally upset, I can more easily deconstruct the story and challenge it and thus better manage my emotions as a result.
2. My sleep improved
Despite being a successful life coach, I can suffer from “money anxiety”; having a scarcity mindset and worrying about running out of cash. This could cause me to lose sleep and become very workaholic and adrenalised.
My coach got me to look at my finances and offered some very simple and logical insights about how much profit I was actually making. It sounds so simple doesn’t it? Silly amygdala!
As a result of reducing my money anxiety, I slept better than I had in a long time. For the first time in ages, I felt I could start to relax. I woke up the next day feeling like I had a proper recharge.
3. My self-esteem improved
I blame myself much less for other people’s actions and reactions. Before, I did not realise I had fell into the cognitive distortion of Over-Personalisation – thinking everyone’s behaviour and all circumstances are my fault.
I used to blame myself when consultations with clients did not go so well – until my coach asked me:
“What other reasons could there be for a prospect not signing up that does not involve you?”
Ever since I have learned not to blame myself or be so hard on myself if someone does not sign up for coaching with me.
4. My social life improved
My coach challenged me to leave my “man cave” of work, spa and video games. In other words, I work during the day, then after work, I go to the spa and then perhaps play a strategy game or watch some Netflix.
But this routine does not allow much room for meeting new friends or potential girlfriends. Thanks to working with my life coach, I got the motivation to leave my man cave. I decided to join a church, which turned out to be a pretty good decision because it deepened my spirituality and led to me meeting way more people.
5. My earnings jumped to six figures a year pro-rata
Thanks to working with my coach, I was able to push myself further than ever before with my business. You see, I had created a story that I couldn’t charge more than £150/hour because I don’t have a Masters in Psychology. This was despite the fact that I have done numerous coach and psychology training, and have 40+ five-star reviews on Google.
My coach suggested that I shouldn’t be focused on charging for my time, but rather, charging for the results I create.
So I now charge around £300 to £500/hr – and I don’t feel guilty about it. I feel that I am worth it and so is my work.
Life coaching has really enabled me to grow in a number of areas in my life and to make positive changes in my life.
Therapy has been a crucial tool for my mental health, though it does have its limitations. Of course, so does life coaching too (my coaches will often avoid heavy discussion around heavy traumas rightfully so). It simply depends on what you want to focus on.
One of my coaches is a positive psychologist and so he likes to focus on what is going well in my life, what strengths I have, and how I can utilise them to create the life that I want, as well as challenging any limiting or unhelpful beliefs that I have with Cognitive Behavioural Coaching.
Thanks to my life coaches, I would not be where I am today: thriving and living a life beyond my wildest dreams.